Truvada is a highly popular PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prescription medication that is meant to help users reduce their risk of getting HIV-1 when combined with safer sex practices. The medication is also prescribed to help treat individuals who already have HIV.
Unfortunately, recent lawsuits have begun to emerge alleging that Truvada manufacturer, Gilead Science, Inc., knew of dangerous side effects for years but failed to warn and protect users adequately. The company also withheld a safer alternative that could have prevented many of the damages users now face.
The negligent actions of this pharmaceutical company have jeopardized the lives of innocent men and women throughout the nation, causing them unnecessary suffering. These inconsiderate and malicious actions should NOT be ignored. The Dallas Truvada lawsuit attorneys of The Benton Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims secure recovery and justice for the damages they have suffered.
If you or a loved one have suffered kidney or bone-related health issues after taking Truvada, our knowledgeable pharmaceutical liability attorneys are ready to advocate on your behalf. Contact us today at (214) 777-7777 to discuss your case with our experienced legal team member.
What is Truvada?
Truvada is a once-a-day tablet used with other medications and therapies to help prevent infection and treat HIV. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) originally approved the drug in August 2004 to treat HIV infection. In July 2012, the FDA approved Truvada for reducing the risk of sexually acquired HIV infection.
Two medicinal components in the drug, emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) reduce the enzyme activity known as reverse transcriptase. This particular enzyme allows the HIV-infected cells to replicate and spread throughout the carrier. These two components help considerably reduce the virus’s replication, which works as an effective form of treatment.
Gilead Sciences Inc. has made billions in U.S. and international sales.
The Problems Surrounding Truvada
Individuals who have taken Truvada have begun to suffer from bone health and kidney-related issues. These issues stem from the TDF component found in the drug.
Studies have emerged linking TDF with a significant loss of bone mineral density. This loss of bone mineral density ultimately causes bones to become brittle and makes them easier to break. When coupled with other factors, such as genetics and lifestyle habits, an individual taking Truvada faces a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Additionally, HIV drugs such as Truvada require significant amounts of TDF to suppress the virus effectively. As the drug causes excessive loss of minerals – especially calcium – the kidneys must bear the effects. This can lead to a variety of kidney-health complications, including kidney failure.
To make matters worse, Gilead Sciences knew of these dangerous side effects and had created a safer alternative to TDF – a component known as tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF). TAF-based medicines are just as effective as TDF-based drugs but can be taken at smaller, safer dosages and, thus, do not pose the same hazards to a user’s bones or kidneys.
Despite knowing that TAF was a safer and more effective antiretroviral, the company discontinued clinical research on TAF medications until its patent on Truvada came close to expiring. This would guarantee that Gilead could continue making considerable profits while establishing market dominance.
The FDA warned Gilead about Truvada’s side effects and false marketing ploys that claimed the drug to be completely safe.
The company had plenty of opportunities to correct its missteps and offer a safer alternative to the public. Instead, they chose profit over people.
Now, users of Truvada – individuals who are already facing serious conditions – are falling victim to other catastrophic health problems.
What Are the Side Effects and Major Complications Caused by Truvada?
Users throughout the United States – and undoubtedly all throughout the world where this product is sold – face various side effects. While the company would have originally noted some of these complications, the more severe health issues have only recently come to light.
Some of the primary side effects users of Truvada deal with include:
- Diminished Mental Alertness
- Abdominal Pain
- Muscle Cramps
- Breathing Problems
- Skin Color Changes
- Liver Problems
While these side effects can undoubtedly cause discomfort and should be closely monitored, several major complications can arise with the use of Truvada. If you begin to suffer from any health issues, please seek medical care immediately – these problems can be deadly.
Bone-Related Health Issues
Truvada has been linked to several bone-related health problems that make users susceptible to breaks and fractures. Symptoms and bone-related health issues include:
- Bone Demineralization
- Discomfort in Extremities
- Decreased Bone Mineral Density
- Bone Deterioration or Osteoporosis
- Bone Loss or Osteopenia
- Dental Complications (e.g., Tooth Decay and Loss)
- Bone Fractures
As previously mentioned, because kidneys must filter Truvada and excess minerals, many users are beginning to suffer health problems with this organ.
Notable kidney problems include:
- Declining Kidney Function
- Decreased Urination
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Acute Kidney Injury
- Acute Renal Failure
- Fanconi Syndrome
- Kidney Failure
Suffering a life-threatening injury as the result of a dangerous product that you used under the reasonable assumption that it was safe can be absolutely terrifying. You should NOT be mistreated by Gilead Sciences.
If you have suffered a bone-related or kidney-related health issue after consistently using Truvada, please get in touch with our experienced Dallas Truvada lawsuit attorneys of The Benton Law Firm right now at (214) 777-7777.
Groups That Are Most Likely to Be Affected by Truvada
Because Truvada targets a specific demographic, certain groups and individuals have a higher risk of suffering damages as a result of taking the drug. These groups include those who are at a higher risk of developing HIV or have higher rates of being in a relationship with another individual with the condition.
If you or someone you love meets the following criteria and have been taking Truvada, immediately seek medical attention and the trusted legal counseling of The Benton Law Firm.
Gay and Bisexual Men
Gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2016, gay and bisexual men accounted for 67% of all new HIV diagnoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
African Americans and other Ethnic Minorities
African American and Hispanics/Latinos are two groups that are disproportionately affected by HIV. According to HIV.gov, African Americans accounted for 43% of HIV diagnoses in 2017, accounting for only 13% of the total population. Additionally, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 26% of diagnoses that same year while only accounting for 18% of the population.
Injection Drug Users
Individuals who inject drugs are at significant risk of developing HIV. As per the CDC, the virus can remain on a used needle for up to 42 days, depending on certain factors. While these numbers have decreased in recent years, this group still suffers from increased risks due to sharing needles with other individuals who already have the virus.
Over 7,000 women received an HIV diagnosis in the United States in 2017. Nearly 59% of these women were African American, while 86% of these cases were transmitted through heterosexual contact. Injection drug abuse also significantly affected women contracting the virus, accounting for 14 percent of HIV diagnoses in 2017.
Women aged 25 to 44 accounted for 50% of all new HIV diagnoses in 2017.
HIV Patients in the Criminal Justice System
An estimated 1 in 7 individuals with HIV passes through a correctional or detention facility. At the end of 2010, over 20,000 incarcerated individuals living in a state or federal prison had HIV. It is also estimated that HIV rates among prisoners is 5 to 7 times higher than that of the general population.
Serodiscordant couples are relationships in which one member has HIV while the other does not. To lower the risk of infection, these couples are much more likely to take PrEP medications such as Truvada.
Because these groups statistically face higher rates of HIV and higher rates of becoming infected, they are much more likely to use Truvada.
Additional HIV Drugs to Look Out For
While Truvada is the most well-known drug available to consumers – with a 41% market share – there are several other additional HIV medications that contain the TDF component as well. Because of this, the following alternative antiviral medicines can also cause serious side effects and injuries:
- Atripla (33% market share)
- Stribild (9% market share)
- Complera (9% market share)
- Viread (8% market share)
These additional HIV drugs attack the virus differently and generally have their regimen that users must follow. At times, regimens require a combination of antiretroviral drugs to be taken in combination, which can create additional side effects that need to be closely monitored.
The Dallas Truvada lawsuit attorneys at The Benton Law Firm are ready to hear your story. If you have suffered bone-related or kidney-related damages due to taking Truvada or another HIV antiretroviral drug, please contact us today at (214) 777-7777 for a no-obligation, consultation.
Depend on The Benton Law Firm When You Need Us Most
The Dallas Truvada lawyers of The Benton Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims find some recovery when the negligence and disregard of a greedy corporation have injured them. We know how traumatizing such an experience can be and how the physical, emotional, and financial damages can feel overwhelming.
At The Benton Law Firm, find comfort in knowing you will be treated with the care and attention you deserve. The Truvada lawsuit attorneys of The Benton Law Firm prided themselves in delivering exceptional client services and were even named the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” in 2018 by D Magazine.
If you are suffering from bone-related or kidney-related health issues after taking Truvada, our attorneys can help you secure compensation for but not limited to:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. have a responsibility to their clients. Do NOT allow your pain to go unheard. We are here to defend your rights and support you with exceptional legal counseling when needed.
Contact The Benton Law Firm right now at (214) 777-7777 or online to learn more about your legal options.